- Purpose of the L1 visa
- Conditions under which a L-1 business visa can be issued
- The main criteria for L1 visa
- Petition for the managers visa L1
- Terms and rules for the receipt and consideration of petitions.
The USA is an ideal country for entrepreneurs. From there we constantly hear success stories of businesses started from scratch in the garage or from a small company of two people. Therefore, business immigration in the United States is very attractive for anyone who is looking for a country for a comfortable life and realizing their entrepreneurial potential.
It starts with a business visa in the United States.
L1 a visa is issued to senior managers of foreign companies who open a representative office in the US. This visa allows you to transfer a managing employee in the United States, where he will live and work in a branch of his company.
Having received this visa, the employee can get visas for his wife and children and they can legally come and live in the US. A year later, the employee must provide the migration service with the results of the company’s work in the US and, in case of positive results, obtain a 2-year visa extension and the right to file documents with Green Card. In total, for a L1 visa, you can live and work in the United States for 7 years.
The main problem which you can solve by the L1a visa, with it you can live and work in the US without leaving a minimum of 1 year. With a B1 / B2 visa, you cannot stay in the country for more than 6 months. And if you stay for 5-6 months and leave, then you may have difficulties obtaining a new visa. And this is what kind of hemorrhoids, if you have meetings planned here.
Purpose of the L1 visa.
Under American law – a visa category L is considered a tool for the official transfer of citizens of other states to the offices of companies in the United States.
The difference is as follows:
- visas are issued to employees of companies of foreign nationality when they are transferred to subsidiaries located in the United States of America;
- are issued to foreign citizens who work in US companies abroad to attract (transfer) to the main (parent) offices that are located in the United States.
To work in the United States, according to the US labor law, the L-1 visa holder cannot choose his place of work. That is, the employer who submitted the petition to the US visa service has the exclusive right to his employee.
The employee, in the event of dismissal, automatically forfeits his visa and must leave the United States within a statutory period, otherwise he will be deported, and if he tries to escape, he is arrested.
Conditions under which a L-1 business visa can be issued
To obtain a business visa for L-1, you must have a company outside the United States that will decide to open a branch in America and send you to manage this branch. The company must exist for at least 3 years, and you must work in this company in leadership positions for at least a year in the last 3 years.
A branch must have an office in America, and a person directed to guide them should receive an official salary. Moreover, you need to calculate the amount of $ 40-60 thousand per year. Plus, it is desirable that you had some employees – at least one person at part time.
It is clear that visas are not given for nothing. For their receipt, there are certain requirements, according to which the procedures for obtaining and denying visas have been worked out.
The conditions that may lead to the issuance of permits are mandatory for all, regardless of the place and position held in the company.
Exist only three main conditions:
- the applicant is required to work for a foreign company for at least three years, and at least one year he must hold a position no less than a specialist or a manager. You don’t even need to be a manager or a CEO. You can be a key specialist – for example, a programmer. (the timeframe is counted from the moment of application for granting the right to obtain a visa);
- the applicant for the current moment of time is a carrier of special knowledge (specialist) or a manager;
- the firm or company to which the transfer is made, must be the principal or subsidiary in respect of the enterprise in which the employee is registered and working.
In some cases, the order of subordination of companies and branches may differ from the generally accepted one, but such applications are considered in an individual (special) order. Definitions, according to which the applicant is considered as an employee, as well as his membership in a specialized or supervisory staff.
Here we mean the difference in concepts: manager executive, a manager and specialist in different labor laws. Since it is about the United States, obtaining a visa and entering their territory, it is necessary to be guided by American legislation when determining the status of an employee.
Managers L-1 immigrant visa is usually given for one year, then it needs to be extended. This L1 visa does not automatically obtain a residence permit in the United States in the form to green card. However, it opens the way for its reception.
The main criteria for L1 visa
Under the managerial duties is understood:
- management of the organization, its separate parts and subdivisions or a specific line of business;
- leadership, subject to the availability of managers and specialists in rank below;
- a manager, an administrator for the day-to-day operation of a branch of the company or any large part of it;
- the existence of the right to sign and make decisions in matters of personnel policy, or a recommendation initiative that influences the decision-making process.
What is executive position being an employee:
- manages the company, its separate part or branch, as well as is responsible for a certain direction of activity or performance of a specific function of the enterprise;
- has the right to independently and solely make decisions on issues that are in several areas of activity;
- create a development strategy, a policy pursued by the company, and plans a business;
- from senior management depends only on the recommendation plan (doesn’t receive strict instructions, and some recommendations on possible changes in the company’s strategy).
A specialist as an employee:
- has certain (special) knowledge relating to the company’s products, its production capacities and capabilities, the use of production technologies;
- specializes in external and internal markets, where he knows everything about the company’s situation, its possible risks and forecasts of analysts;
- knows everything about the internal staffing of the company, its management, as well as a familiarity with technical or financial documentation.
Requirements for the company that wants to transfer the employee.
To this, the staff of the US visa service also pay close attention – there are years worked out schemes and clear distinctions in the possibility of granting or refusing to issue a visa of the L-1 class.
Under US law, a company must follow:
- a part of a company that is outside the United States must do the same as the parent company, that is, the activities stated in the documents must coincide;
- a subsidiary company or an enterprise that is at least half owned by a foreign parent company;
- a partner enterprise or project in the course of which the revenues and losses are split in half between the US and foreign partners, and where each of them has the same voting rights in making decisions that relate to the enterprise or project;
- when the parent company and its branch are in the ownership (in equal shares, of course, but not less than 50 percent) of the third party, and the subordination is not strictly regulated, but at the same time there are several restrictions on obtaining the L-1 visa for the transfer of employees to similar organizations.
In order to use the right to transfer employees from foreign firms to companies located in the United States, organizations can buy a ready-made company in the United States, open a new branch of their company or use a partnership agreement with a North American company.
Petition for the managers visa L1
In fact, this statement from the employer with the request to give the opportunity to transfer an employee to work in the same company, but in the US. Petitions are individual and group.
In the first case, the petition is submitted by the employer or his legal representative in the form of a statement in favor of a particular employee applying for a visa of the L-1 class.
This document must include the following information:
- the employee who has been applying for at least one year, during the last three years, has worked in the company’s foreign office;
- the basis that an American division of the company requires an employee whose functions correspond to or are as close to the activities as practiced by him in the foreign representative office;
- the company submitting the petition must have an enterprise in the United States that is a subsidiary of a foreign company, a branch firm or established partnership with the resident company for the organization or implementation of a joint project.
In the case of a group petition, everything is somewhat more complicated.
To apply for a group of citizens for transfer to work in a company in the United States, you must:
- to prove that an American firm is a legal representation, branch or subsidiary, whose head office is located abroad;
- to prove that the US representation is engaged in actual commercial or industrial activities, rendering services, as well as the head foreign company;
- to prove that the period of activity of the firm in the territory of the USA is at least 1 year;
- have three or more legitimate representations or affiliates in any other countries of the world.
In the collective petition, there are financial conditions for granting a visa.
With full compliance with legal and legal requirements, you cannot undergo a financial check, which consists of three conditions (it is enough to do one):
- for the last year to have at least 10 approved applications for an L-1 visa (all units and branches located in the United States of America are taken into account);
- the annual turnover of the company must be at least $ 25 million (in this case, foreign representations are also considered);
- have at least one thousand officially employed American citizens.
The list of documents that must be attached to an individual petition.
The list is rather large, but far from complete, that is, in the case when the US immigration and citizenship service believes that more documents are needed to make a decision, then it is entitled to ask for their provision. And even after additional documents are considered, there is no guarantee of obtaining a permit.
List of documents required for the acceptance of the petition:
- Certificate (proof) that during the last three years the applicant has been working in a foreign company for at least a year;
- Evidence that the applicant actually worked for a foreign company in the position claimed in the petition (manager, specialist or manager executive);
- Constituent documents in full, relating to both the American and foreign organizations (charters, contracts, registration certificates);
- Completed tax returns from both companies that want to carry out the official translation of the employee;
- Documents of annual reports documents;
- A complete package of documents showing the financial condition of companies (foreign and American);
- Accounting reports, including the payroll of employees of foreign and local representative offices;
- Advertising products (booklets, brochures, posters, etc.), photographs and copies of contracts and obligations, disclosing the volumes of production in their true values;
- Decision to transfer an employee from a foreign subsidiary to a subsidiary or branch located in the United States of America;
- Job descriptions, duties that an employee must perform, as well as the appropriateness and necessity of his hiring or transferring to an American company.
Terms and rules for the receipt and consideration of petitions.
Within a week of the immediate filing of the petition from the Citizenship and Immigration Service, a notification is received that the documents have been accepted for consideration. It also indicates the approximate time frame for making a decision on the application (may not coincide with the real time, since additional documents may be required).
The total time for consideration and making a decision on a petition is from 3 weeks to 2 months.
If the petition was refused, then within 30 days the applicant has the right to file a complaint with the same service, which will forward the application to the Appeals Board.
To receive a class L visa, the applicant, in addition to the approved petition, must provide both a special form l-129 and a standard application DS-160.
To obtain a visa, after approval of the petition by the Citizenship and Immigration Service, it is necessary to apply to the embassy.
Documents from the immigration service come by mail, and the application form and a copy of l-129 (aka l-797) are provided by the applicant. In case of applying to the embassy, when the documents haven’t arrived yet, a visa can be issued on the basis of a copy of the form l-129.
Employees who are transferred to companies in North America for collective petitions must obtain an approved petition for l-129s when they apply for a visa.
Foreign nationals traveling to work for US companies from abroad are not required to prove that they don’t have immigration intentions, as well as after a year’s work in an American firm, when they receive a Class L visa, the employee has the right to apply for a type for residence.
In the case when a foreign citizen is transferred to the United States for business organization, he must submit a business plan to all other documents, and in a year, when the validity of his visa expires in order to extend it, it will be necessary to prove that the business is developing and moving forward.
After getting a L1 visa you will have opportunity to get SSN (social security number) and License Driver and live in the US as truly American citizen, because if you don’t have SSN, then, for example, Verizon will not sell a cell phone for you.
You cannot get a discount card in the Target stores. And many more useful things you will not be available to get.
Of course, there are other ways to get SSN, but it different story which we tell you in some other time.
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